With nearly 60% of management positions held by women, General Mills Australia offers flexible work arrangements, women’s forums, health and wellness programs and half-day Fridays, among other initiatives to create an attractive workplace for women. This has led to the company being certified as a 2020 Great Place to Work.

General Mills is a global food company with brands including Cheerios, Annie’s, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Häagen-Dazs, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Old El Paso, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki, BLUE and more. The Great Place to Work certification is based on extensive research across thousands of workplaces around the world and is an acknowledgement of premium standard.

In the last 12 months, General Mills Australia has focused on taking its flexible culture to the next level by ensuring this was role-modelled by senior leaders.

General Mills Australia and New Zealand legal and external relations director, Angela Martinelli strives to inspire women, which has led her to champion a local branch of General Mills’ Women’s Leadership Network.

Martinelli said the benefits of the Network were two-fold as it empowers women to ask more questions about work opportunities and put themselves forward. Secondly, for men attending, it shows them the actions they might have missed in considering women for opportunities.

Every month an inspirational female leader, both from within or outside the business, speaks about relevant issues for women including career progression, working and studying in historically male dominated fields, financial stability, and the momentum of women’s professional sport.

“People in the business, both men and women, now know that it’s important to speak about these issues, share their stories and learn from each other and we encourage this dialogue,” she said.

General Mills partnered with Benny Button, an employee wellbeing and performance program, to facilitate four interactive workshops that helped women leaders become role models for other aspiring leaders. Through the Benny Button Program, General Mills Australia also conducted self-reflection workshops to see how its employees become accustomed to stress and provided tools to help address this.

Initiatives developed as a result includes running groups, a mindfulness room, increased fruit and vegetable availability, a focus on mental health with the introduction of a Thrive Program with Assure, have helped shift the culture and improve the wellbeing of the entire team.